Global health experts are casting doubts over reports of a new possible Covid-19 mutation that appeared to be a combination of both the delta and omicron variants, dubbed as “deltacron,” saying it’s more likely that the “strain” is the result of a lab processing error.

 

Some experts have since cast doubt over the findings, with one World Health Organization official tweeting Sunday that “deltacron,” which was trending on the social media platform on the weekend, is “not real” and “is likely due to sequencing artifact,” a variation introduced by a nonbiological process.

 

WHO Covid expert Dr. Krutika Kuppalli said on Twitter that, in this case, there was likely to have been a “lab contamination of Omicron fragments in a Delta specimen.”

 

Other scientists have agreed that the findings could be the result of a lab error, with virologist Dr. Tom Peacock from Imperial College London also tweeting that “the Cypriot ‘Deltacron’ sequences reported by several large media outlets look to be quite clearly contamination.”

 

In another tweet, he noted that “quite a few of us have had a look at the sequences and come to the same conclusion it doesn’t look like a real recombinant,” referring to a possible rearrangement of genetic material.

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